The five Kedar lies in the valleys between the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda. The term Kedar itself means a natural rock formation or a glacial moraine. According to legend  Himalayas Kedarnath  the chief seat of the Panch Kedar  come into being during the period when the five Pandava brothers were asked to seek Shiva  s blessings  purging them off sin of fratricide  or killing their cousin brothers in the terrifying battle of Kurukshetra. Shiva disguised himself as a bull and started to plunge underground when he was spotted by Pandavas. No wonder the natural rock formation that is worshipped here resembles the rump of bull. The other four places where Shiva is worshipped take their appearance from different part of his body - the navel at Madmaheshwar  the arm at Tungnath  the face at Rudranath  and the matted hair at Kalpeshwar. 


The holiest of Shiva  s shrines is likened to gold among base metals so that every pilgrim finds peace here  and it is said that devotees who die here become one with Shiva himself. The temple of Kedarnath  located at a height of 3 581 mts  stand at the head of the Mandakini river  with Kedarnath peak keeping vigil above it.

The temple is dedicated to the Sadasiva or invisible form of Shiva  and is represented by a natural rock formation. Beyond the temple is the highway to heaven  called Mahapanth


Shiva is worshipped at Madmaheshwar in the form of navel - shaped lingum. Located at base of Chaukhamba peak  at an altitude of 3 289 mts  the classic temple architecture belongs to the north - Indian style. So sanctified is the water here that even a few drops are considered   sufficient for absolution.

The natural scenery is dramatically wild  with deep gorges and Himalayas valleys  mountainsides flung upwards towards the skies  and forests where the snow lies thick in winter  only to be replaced by a carpet of greenery in the summer. Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks are also visible from here  the entire ring of mountains associated with the life and times of shiva. The confluences of two streams at Gaundar just short of the temple  is one of the prettiest spots in the region.


The sanctity of the region of Tungnath is considered unsurpassed. The peak of Tungnath is the source of three springs that from the river Akashkamini. At this temple at 3 680 mts  Shiva  s arm is worshipped. The highest Hindu shrine in the Himalayas  3kms uphill from Chopta  Tungnath is reached through a path that wends through alpine meadows and rhododendron thickets. An hours climb from here leads to Chandrashila with its panoramic views. The entire journey and the shrine are located in some of the finest  most picturesque pocket of the Himalaya.


Devotees come to Rudranath to offer ritual obeisance it their ancestors  for it is here  at Vaitarani river that the soul of dead cross when entering another world. The temple of Rudranath at 2 286 mts  entails trekking through ridges at almost twice that height before reaching the meadow where it is located. Within the sanctum  Shiva  s image is worshipped in the form of his face. The temple is surround by several pools - Surya Kund  Chandra Kund  Tara Kund  Manas Kund - while the great peaks of Nanda Devi  Trishul and Nanda Ghunti rear overhead.


A favorite spots for sages who come here to meditate  following the precedent of Arghya who performed austerities and created the celebrated nymph  Urvashi  here  and the irascible Durvasha who meditated under the wish fulfilling tree  Kalpavriksha  Pilgrims pray at the small rock temple at a height of 2 134 mts. before the matted tresses of Shiva enshrined in rock in the sanctum sanctorum. The sanctum is preceded by a natural cave passage. Surrounded by thick forests and terraced fields in the Urgam valley  the temple is reached following a 10 km. long trek.


Captcha Code :